Jul 19 2013
If you hire even one Arab/Muslim, it will mean trouble for you if you don’t hire MORE Arab/Muslims.
DETROIT FREE PRESS The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights violated the federal Civil Rights Act by failing to hire Arab teachers, discriminating against Arabs in its hiring and recruiting practices and retaliating against a guidance counselor who raised concerns about those and other issues in the district.
The EEOC, in the July 11 ruling, is recommending the district compensate the Arab counselor — Hiam Brinjikji — $40,000 and agree to a host of steps to change its hiring practices. “This is a significant development,” said Arab-Muslim attorney Shereef Akeel. “I feel a sense of vindication,” Brinjikji said. “Not just for myself, but for the whole student body and for the parents of ARAB students who were not receiving the educational services they were entitled to.”
About 3,500 students are enrolled in the district. Brinjikji said a significant number of them are Arab American. State data show that of the 3,500 students, 11% are identified as non-native English speakers.
Brinjikji said that up until a year ago, the district only had four Arab teachers, one Arab counselor, no Arab administrators and a few paraprofessionals. Akeel said the district retaliated against his client by placing what he described as meritless reprimands in her personnel file, ostracizing her, removing her from e-mail lists and excluding her from meetings.
Laurine VanValkenburg, superintendent of the Crestwood district, said she continues to deny that the district has discriminated against students, employees or applicants. She noted that the EEOC didn’t list any specific instances in which the district violated the Civil Rights Act. “While the EEOC has determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that these allegations are true, its determination does not state any factual basis for such a conclusion,” she said.
Among the steps suggested by the EEOC in its recommended agreement, which all parties would have to sign:
■ The district must remove any disciplinary or pending disciplinary records from Brinjikji’s personnel file that were dated June 1, 2011, until the date of the agreement.
■ The district must, within 60 days, develop a written policy and plan that describes how it will recruit, hire and promote a wide and diverse pool of (Arab) candidates to achieve and maintain a diverse faculty and staff.
■ Notices about staff openings must be sent to a number of community groups, including ACCESS, terror-linked CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
■ The district must create a training program for district and school leaders about the new procedures for Arab recruitment and hiring.
■ The district must post, in English and Arabic, a notice in every school and the administration building that spells out its commitment to follow federal law.
Brinjikji said she feels strongly about advocating for the kids and their educational rights, saying denying them those rights “is a form of oppression. Education is a basic human right.” (In America, you have a right to an education, NOT to an education by Arabs)
MUSLIM Rally against free speech in Dearborn Sept. 21st